Sharjah: After winning their previous matches, both the teams Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) will battle each other on Sunday to maintain their winning momentum in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. Sanju Samson, who is batting brilliantly, would like to continue his dream form. The presence of Jos Buttler will strengthen the Rajasthan Royals (RR) team further. KXIP captain Lokesh Rahul would also like to play another tremendous innings at the short boundary of Sharjah Cricket Ground.
During the 97-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Rahul made a record by playing an unbeaten innings of 132 runs with the help of seven sixes in just 69 balls. However, he got life twice by droping a catch from RCB captain Virat Kohli during this innings. The 28-year-old Rahul holds the record for the highest score by an Indian player in IPL history and would like to continue the same form on a ground whose boundaries are small from all sides.
Young wicketkeeper-batsman Samson hit nine sixes during the 32-ball 74 runs on the balls of the Chennai Super Kings bowlers in the same stadium, and then Jofra Archer also joined the 'campaign to hit a six', scoring four sixes in the final over. Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith also scored 69 runs (47 balls) in his first match after 'concussion' related issues in England. Butler did not play in the first match due to quarantine rules as he arrived in the UAE separately with his family.
Butler is expected to open the innings with Yashasvi Jaiswal while Smith will replace David Miller in the batting order. Tom Karan and Jofra Archer will then join a combination of four foreign players. Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell would like to make up for his five-run score in the previous match for Kings XI Punjab. In the bowling department, Mohammed Shami and Sheldon Cottrell of West Indies led the fast bowling department for Kings XI Punjab while leg-spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin took three wickets each against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Rajasthan Royals team was successful in defending their 216-run score with Archer bowling brilliantly in the death over and leg-spinner Rahul Teotia (3 for 37) sent the top order to the pavilion. However, Jaydev Unadkat's poor form continues to cause trouble for him. It will be interesting to see whether Smith and Andrew McDonald would want to try either Karthik Tyagi or Varun Aaron in place of Unadkat, keeping in mind the small boundary.
Both probable teams:-
Kings XI Punjab: Lokesh Rahul (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Shami, Mujib ur Rehman, Karun Nair, James Neesham, Nicholas Pooran (wicketkeeper), Ishan Porrell, Arshadip Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Krishnappa Gautam, Harpreet Brar, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Darshan Nalakande, Ravi Bishnoi, Simran Singh (wicketkeeper), Jagdish Suchit, Tajinder Singh, Hardas Villzone.
Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith (Captain), Jose Butler, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson, Joffra Archer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Karthik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshen Thomas, Andrew Ty, David Miller, Tom Karan, Anirudh Joshi, Shreyas Gopal , Ryan Parag, Varun Aaron, Shashank Singh, Anuj Rawat, Mahipal Lomror, Mayank Markandeya.